Bulldogs club Pine Ridge at State A's
By LARRY LEEDS, Sports Editor
RAPID CITY -- One down and two to go for Madison as the Bulldogs seek their third State A Basketball Tournament title since 2009 at the Rapid City Civic Center. The No. 3 seed Bulldogs (22-2) roared past the Pine Ridge Thorpes 70-34 in the last opening-round game on Thursday night.
Trae Vandeberg goes up for two points against Pine Ridge on Thursday night at the State A Basketball Tournament in Rapid City.
The Bulldogs were the only top-seeded team to gain a win during the first day of the tournament.
"After seeing the top seeds going down, there was some concern," said Madison Coach Mike Ricke.
The Bulldogs settled down early and rolled into the semifinals on Friday (tonight).
Pine Ridge grabbed the early advantage behind a three-pointer from Jacob Brown to start the game.
A basket by Jacob Giles and two free throws by Tyler Wiebe put the Bulldogs on top 4-3 with 6:11 left in the opening period.
The Thorpes regained the lead when Jeff LeBeau hit for two with just under six minutes left in the first quarter. However, this was the last lead for the Thorpes.
Madison went on a 12-2 run spearheaded by Rush Milne to grab a 16-7 lead with just one minute left in the quarter. Milne scored eight of the 12 points in that stretch.
The Bulldogs added four more points and held a commanding 20-7 lead after one period.
"Rush played well in practices leading up to the tournament," Ricke said. "His size, quickness, speed and strength was too much for them."
The Bulldogs' quick and swarming defense forced 14 first-half turnovers, which led to several easy baskets as Madison opened up a 30-point halftime lead, 46-16.
Madison made 18 of 35 field goals in the opening half, 51 percent, compared to the Thorpes' 31 percent, 7-of-22.
"We needed a fast start and needed to stay on top," Ricke said. "The kids had some butterflies to start with, but they were able to calm down quickly."
Madison outscored Pine Ridge 24-18 in the second half as all of the players were able to get minutes at the state tournament. Twelve of the 15 players scored at least one point.
For the game, the Bulldogs made 26 of 58 field goals, 44 percent and connected on 18 of 23 free throws, 78 percent. Pine Ridge made 14 of 42 field goals, 33 percent, and just 4-of-15 free throws, 26 percent.
Madison had just 14 turnovers while forcing the Thorpes to turn the ball over 24 times. The Bulldogs held a huge advantage on the boards 45-22.
Wiebe scored 15 points and pulled down seven rebounds to lead the Bulldogs. Milne ended the night with 10 points and eight rebounds, while Jesse Brown had a double-double with 10 counters and a game-high 12 rebounds.
Rounding out the scoring for the Bulldogs were Trae VandeBerg with eight points, Braxton Olson seven, Jacob Giles six and Preston Nordling four. Mason Sullivan, Eli Roemen, Tayler Anderson, Jacob Leighton and Jordan Unterbrunner all added two points.
LeBeau had 16 points to pace the Thorpes. Jacob Brown added nine points and five rebounds for Pine Ridge.
Madison (22-2) will face the Mobridge-Pollock Tigers (19-5) in the 7:45 p.m. (MT) game on Friday (tonight). The Tigers rolled over Aberdeen Roncalli 67-52.
Platte-Geddes beat Clark/Willow Lake 66-51 and Tea downed Spearfish 60-53.
There will be a welcome-home event for the Bulldogs on Sunday at 4 p.m. at the Madison Middle School Gym.
©Madison Daily Leader 2013
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